This content is part of the Conference Coverage: Oracle OpenWorld 2018 news, trends and analysis

Oracle CX Cloud adds AI tools for B2C, B2B customers

Oracle announces infusion of its Adaptive Intelligent apps into several CX Cloud products and promises more to come, with sales, marketing and service all getting upgrades.

CHICAGO -- In beefing up its CRM platform with long under wraps AI and analytics capabilities, Oracle today took a big swing at the fences. At least one big win came with it, as giant online retailer, which sells team logo gear to fans of pro and college sports, moved its customer experience program to the Oracle platform.

Oracle unveiled the next generation of its Oracle Customer Experience Cloud, more commonly known as Oracle CX Cloud. The platform now includes Adaptive Intelligent apps, AI tools based on the Infinity big data analytics platform purchased from Webtrends last year.

"The company has been developing and honing the capabilities of Adaptive Intelligent for the past year and a half," said Cindy Zhou, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research. "Oracle has been thoughtful on the launch and this is their Einstein," referring to its Salesforce AI counterpart.

Customers will see upgrades this year, including Oracle Infinity analytics for marketing automation. Oracle said that will make it easier for marketers to deploy upgrades and unify behavioral data to drive more effective campaigns.

Oracle says another tool, CX Audience, will make it easier for nontechnical marketers to segment audiences and run heavy analysis on what is and isn't working, in order to iterate campaigns faster. On the sales side, AI will optimize leads and offer win probabilities, which catches Oracle up to the competition.

Loyalty Cloud deploys rewards programs

Available now is Loyalty Cloud. According to Des Cahill, vice president head CX evangelist at Oracle, the tool was built in part by the engineering team that came over from Webtrends, along with the Infinity-branded tools.

Oracle customers will have access to REST APIs to make rollout of loyalty programs more efficient.

The Loyalty Cloud, Cahill said, will help customers track and analyze customer actions and sentiment. It will also help them respond more efficiently and appropriately to their needs beyond the capabilities of traditional web analytics, as Loyalty Cloud is integrated across Oracle's platform and can tap more data points from which to develop insights and feedback on customer behavior.

Oracle customers will have access to REST APIs to make rollout of loyalty programs more efficient and simpler to integrate with customer experience strategies already plotted on the Oracle CX platform.

Here at the opening day of the Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2018 conference, online retailer Fanatics announced the rollout of new loyalty program on the Oracle CX platform. One of the elements of the program, "Jersey Assurance," offers fans a free replacement if a player whose jersey they bought switches teams within 90 days of purchase.

Analytics help validate which customers are eligible. More than that, however, putting together data from multiple channels such as voice, chat, email and social media helps break apart siloed customer data that previously couldn't be assembled and analyzed to generate more sales opportunities, said Carolyne Matseshe-Crawford, vice president of fan experience at Fanatics, in a press release.

Service Cloud upgrades in the works

Many service teams must use video and email in separate applications, with little or no integration to the CRM platform, and completely disconnected from the sales side -- where service data can sometimes help give salespeople a heads-up on possible customer discontent or upsell opportunities. At best, that leads to incomplete data entry on the part of the agent; at worst, it's completely missed as busy agents move on to solving the next customer issue.

Oracle will integrate video and voice channels to its CX Cloud. It also plans to add a virtual agent for support employees that can escalate chat interactions to human engagement without losing customer data and forcing double data entry -- long a complaint among both human support agents and customers alike.

Zhou said such tools create new efficiencies that yield more bandwidth for employees to deal directly with customers and cut back on the busy work. "The integration of the voice and video capabilities help with seller, marketer and service personnel productivity, helping to reduce the amount of time they spend on administrative tasks," she said.

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